Financing a new business can be difficult. The majority of financial backing for a new business is provided from the personal assets of the owner, the owner’s family and/or friends. Banks generally want to see a two or three-year business history before making a loan, regardless of the age of the business.
The government has seen the need for small business success and started a program through the U.S. Small Business Administration. A comprehensive and well-written business plan is critical to any type of financing.
For more detailed information, download our Business Financial Assistance Guide.
US Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA provides tools and resources to help you start and grow your business. There are two local offices in northern Colorado:
Larimer County Office
4616 South Shields St.
Blanca Peak #151
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Weld County Office
East Colorado SBDC
807 17th Street
Greeley, CO 80631
Fund your business (sba.gov)
The federal government does NOT provide grants for starting and expanding a business. Government grants are funded by your tax dollars, and, therefore, require very stringent compliance and reporting measures to ensure the money is well spent. As you can imagine, grants are not given away indiscriminately. Grants from the federal government are only available to non-commercial organizations, such as nonprofits and educational institutions in areas, such as medicine, education, scientific research and technology development. The federal government also provides grants to state and local governments to assist them with economic development.
Some business grants are available through state and local programs, nonprofit organizations and other groups. For example, some states provide grants for expanding childcare centers; creating energy efficient technology; and developing marketing campaigns for tourism. These grants are not necessarily free money, and usually require the recipient to match funds or combine the grant with other forms of financing, such as a loan. The amount of the grant money available varies with each business and each grantor.
If you are not one of these specialized businesses, both federal and state government agencies provide financial assistance programs that help small business owners obtain low-interest loans and venture capital financing from commercial lenders.
B:Side, (formerly known as Colorado Lending Source) has come a long way since 1990 and they will go even further over the next 30 years as B:Side Capital and B:Side Fund. B:Side is Colorado’s trusted not-for-profit resource for small business financing. B:Side Fund has been able to re-imagine the lending system in a way that increases accessibility and promotes transparency. They created an intentional credit policy with flexible collateral requirements, converted to an online application, and built out a robust network of resources and referrals for small businesses. In 10 years, B: Side has financed 363 loans, helping business create and retain 1,786 jobs, and has lent $21,582,294.
Colorado Enterprise Fund
Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) is a nonprofit community development financial institution that provides small business loans up to $100,000 to entrepreneurs who are unable to obtain financing from traditional sources. If you receive a loan from CEF, you will participate in one-on-one business advising to help you succeed.
Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade
A spirit of collaboration, creative attitude and pro-business environment has always been at the root of industry growth in Colorado. The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) works with statewide partners to offer a myriad of programs to support your growth and expansion.
The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA)
The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) is a public enterprise that finances affordable housing, business and economic growth opportunities in Colorado. CHFA’s Business Finance Division provides a variety of programs, including loan programs specific to women and minority-owned businesses, manufacturers in the state, and nonprofit organizations committed to better serving the needs of Colorado citizens.
1981 Blake Street
Denver, CO 80202-1229
800-659-2656 (Hearing Impaired TDD)
800-659-3656 (Hearing Impaired Voice)
Crowdfunding is a fairly new concept in business financing, and is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, often via internet-mediated registries. The concept can also be executed through mail-order subscriptions, benefit events and other methods. Some of these sites may also require you to raise some of the funds on your own, some may also have fees. Here are just a few of the more popular sites: